1748: Brego’s Mistress – Chapter Three, Part Two

Title: Brego’s Mistress
Author: hannah.jpg
Media: Books
Topic: Lord of the Rings
Genre: Drama and Romance
URL: Chapter Three
Critiqued by Angie

Hey guys, gals and non binary pals! My name is Angie, and today we’re venturing through the final bit of chapter three of Brego’s Mistress.

Yay?

I can’t even pretend that this is going to be a pleasant experience. Sit back, let’s see.

Thankfully, within a few minutes the prince and Brego were gone again, presumably to the water trough outside. She stopped her motions, and then sighed again. What was it about that prince that made her act so ridiculous?

Not sure. Maybe love? Maybe alcohol? *shrugs* We can only speculate.

Although it would make more sense if those apples were drugged.

And her feelings did not sit quite right either.

I appreciate the Over explanation of everything, but I really didn’t ask and I frankly don’t care either. But to each their own. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve disagreed on a fanfiction.

Léofe finished with the hay, and then drew water from the well to fill the outside trough, as well as the troughs in each of the stalls.

Hey, you got the word right!

But, wait. How come you didn’t just say trough earlier? You know, in the exact same chapter?

She would have to ration out the oats for the evening meal – their stores were running low.

Maybe it’s because you’re being too protective of your horses. I can think of no other reason.

Perhaps before their own supper she could clean the house a bit, if the prince showed a desire to stay for the evening meal as well.

This is some of the quickest character development I’ve ever read about, only beat out by…The Girl, really.

She washed her hands with the last of her hauled water, throwing it outside on the yellow grass, and then walked back to the house, swinging the bucket at her side.

And this is important to the story because…why?

As she came around the barn, she stopped dead in her tracks at the sight that greeted her from the fenced training grounds, catching her breath.

…absolutely no reason. Well, goddamn. That’s kinda really stupid.

The summer heat had obviously gotten to the prince; he had shed his tunic and was leading Brego through his exercises with a bare torso. He was tanned from the sun, with his hair pulled back she could easily admire the contours of his muscled back. Great Bema above

Heh. What can I say, I have a lot of them.

A stirring through her body jolted Léofe. She could not claim to know much about the nature of love between men and women, but she had a notion that she was experiencing some semblance of it.

Here’s where the horse fucking begins, I assume.

Brego was trotting around in a

Skip!

blushing all the way.

Your first guess as to what’s been happening is probably correct.

Léofe still felt red as she rolled a pie crust for supper. Gerdhelm had informed her that indeed, the prince intended to stay for supper.

I

Oh

Just her luck! At least she had found an old clean dress, even if it was threadbare and barely reached the top of her ankles.

At this point, I can’t even tell if she’s being sarcastic when she says it’s ‘just her luck’. Frankly, it could go either way.

She gently lifted the crust and placed it in a skillet, and while she wiped her hands her father nudged her away from the stove.
“I’ll fill it,” he said, brandishing a knife at a pile of vegetables. “Make the table pretty, won’t you?”

Did you just assume the table’s gender?

I need to get off of Tumblr for a while.

She was hard-pressed to find anything green outside, but when the three of them sat down together she felt unreasonably proud and incredibly self-conscious.

That sentence was so all over the place that I don’t think I can actually find anything to say about it. It’s all right there.

There were cattails from the stream, and a few violets she had found underneath the shade of a tree, both placed meticulously in their second nicest drinking cup. The best cup was currently in the prince’s hand as he drank, admiring the sight of the shining clean house.

The best cup in the house being…

This one?

“It is quite pleasant to be in a home,” he said as Gerdhelm sliced into the steaming pie. “It is no secret that we soldiers grow tired of tents and wilderness.”

Well, yeah, but…aren’t you a prince? A prince that…you know…lives in a palace? Where princes generally live?

“Oh aye, I imagine so,” Gerdhelm said, placing a large serving in front of the prince. “But we remain grateful for the safety you give us to practice our trades and raise our families.”

Which is why we’re giving you a horse. Because…after years and years of second hand protecting us by fighting in wars, it’s the least we can do.

The prince gave him only a polite smile, and Léofe did not think it quite reached his eyes.

That would make sense. But shouldn’t Gerdhelm see that as well? It’s not exactly a thing that takes a sixth sense.

His face seemed impassive. “You must not think our house is so clean all the time,” she said quickly, in an attempt to distract both men from what she thought had been an awkward silence. “Papa lazes around quite a bit, poring over his old studbooks, and he normally lets the chores go to waste.”

Oi, miss! Don’t speak so disparaging of your pa!

“Oi, miss!” Gerdhelm mumbled. “Don’t speak so disparaging of your pa!”

But seriously? She’s right. She’s the one who does all the chores. I get that Gerdhelm has the character role of self important dad, but can he shut up?

“I do believe she was teasing you,” the prince cut in, smiling slyly at her.

And if you look to your left, you’ll see another use of the ‘Plot Point That Goes Nowhere in Brego’s Mistress’ cliche.

“However much time you devote to your business, it is well invested. I do not hesitate to say that your farm is the best run that I have come across.”

I get the feeling that the prince is just purposely being a twatt to Léofe for no reason. At least I have a reason.

Gerdhelm blushed slightly. “I might have agreed with you once, sire. But the raids have dampened the enthusiasm of those that might buy our stock.”

Really? Huh. I mean, I guess that’s believable to an extent, but…shouldn’t it be like World War I where people are more than happy to get alcohol, horses…atomic bombs….

“How often do the traders come through?”

Léofe ate her pie in silence, alternatively ignoring the conversation and listening closely whenever the prince spoke.

And the very least believable of them all, pumpkin pie. Because why not?

He had such a wonderful voice – deep and vibrating, but gentle. His odd way of speaking must have come from tutors and academics, something that was very absent in the nearby village. She glanced at him as often as she dared through the cattails that stood between them. And everytime, without fail – her heart skipped a beat.

I’m sorry for bringing this back, really I am, but…does he look like Joel Madden?

Honest question.

She could not quite decide if she was foolish or if her infatuation was not so hopeless, for from his wry looks she deduced that the prince did not ignore her.

She cleared the table of dishes when her father asked her to do so, and was about to make her escape back to the stables and the only place where she knew her own feelings, but the prince stopped her.

This should all be several chances for the prince to guess that Gerdhelm is lazy as all hell.

“I brought a sweet treat to share,” he said, motioning for her to sit again. “We had a man come to Edoras a not two weeks ago bearing imports from the southern fiefs of Gondor.”

Oh good. For a second there I thought it come from the western fiefs of Gondor. Thanks for clearing that up.

Léofe could only sit stiffly, twisting her fingers in her apron. Why does he not let me leave! She felt that staying longer would be more detrimental against her peace of mind. The prince pulled a small wrapped package from a pocket, and opened it to reveal something yellow and candied, which he placed on the table.

Uh oh…guys, I have a bad feeling about this….

“They call it ananas,” he explained.

OH GOD.

“It’s quite sweet, and delicious. Please help yourself – it is the least I can do to repay your generosity to me.”

“I thought that all trade stopped with Stoneland,” Gerdhelm commented, picking up a piece of the ananas and looking skeptical.

The place where they trade all the weed? Or is that Colorado? Ohio? Who knows?

“It has slowed, certainly,” the prince said, chewing thoughtfully on his own portion. “But trade has not ceased. I believe that is a simple rumor, spread by those who do not support the old alliances.”

So Trump’s been spreading rumors about Middle Earth again. I knew we couldn’t trust him.

Léofe placed the ananas in her mouth, and her eyes widened. She had never tasted anything so flavorful and bright, and immediately reached for more. The prince saw this, and laughed.

*cringes, squirms around in seat* Ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew.

“I am gratified to find that you enjoy the ananas so,” he said, and she looked up to see his eyes twinkling at her.

Again, and I can’t stress this enough…

He had very nice eyes; not only a beautifully brown color, but kind as well. She blushed, feeling shameful of her trembling in his gaze, but rather shameless as she ate more of the fruit.

Be honest. Is this just the sex apple from the Adam and Eve stories?

“I must go,” she said, and stood. “I need to exercise the horses.”

“I will do the cleaning then,” Gerdhelm said. Léofe smiled at him, which he returned gruffly.

Well…uh…okay, hold on. *rereads the sentence* Okay. He’s pretending that he’s gonna be a good guy, and not one sentence later, he was gruff and angry. Fucking rude.

The prince was now standing as well, and his eyes were fixed on Léofe. “I wish to see Brego again before I depart. May I walk with you, mistress?”

“If you would like,” she said, not daring to look him lest he see the flush creeping up her neck. The prince pulled the door shut, and held out his arm to her.

“Mistress,” he said, and she felt that he was daring her to accept. Which she did, with her chin lifted and a haughty pull on her lips. Anything to disguise how the feeling of his muscled arm beneath the palm of her hand was pummeling her! They began walking towards the stables. “I must thank you personally and profusely, Mistress Léofe, for you and your father’s hospitality to me today.”

I know that you feel you need an entire paragraph to describe the prince’s muscles, but you really don’t. Use two words. ‘They’re big’. Problem solved.

“You are welcome to come at anytime.”

“Yes, I imagined you might say that,” he said, and she was surprised to see discomfort in his features. “May I ask you a personal question?”

Oh Jesus. This is the Christian Grey of the Legendarium.

Or maybe it’s the Charlie from the Scream series.

What’s your favorite scary movie?

She frowned in response.

“That is, you are not obliged to answer. I only wish to know if I have offended you in any way, that I may repair the damage done.”

“No,” she said softly. “There has been no offense.”

“Then I wonder what it is that causes you to hate the very sight of me.”

There it is. Yeah, this shit isn’t as surprising as perhaps Hannah wants it to be. Really and truly giving us a plot twist takes a lot more effort than that.

And she had been trying so hard to keep her feelings in check! “Er…” she said. “I only dread the day that you take Brego away. I do not exaggerate when I say that he is my best friend. But I did not conceal this from you at our first…that is to say, second meeting.”

Well I mean…it was pretty fucking obvious, in all fairness to the prince. He’s the dullest knife in the drawer, that one. But that isn’t to say he’s never done anything smart.

Just…not in this fic.

They had reached the stable doors, and the prince dropped her hand, reaching for her shoulders to turn her to face him. The setting sun blazed a glorious light in his face. “I never intended to cause you pain,” he said quietly. “But please allow me to make reparation. If I have taken from you your best friend, might I fill that void with my own friendship?”

See? That is absolutely without a doubt the worst idea I’ve ever heard. And then she agrees!

No! Léofe wanted to scream. She did not want friendship from him! She wanted to jump into his arms and kiss his lusciously full lips to brand him as hers alone.

I’m picturing Léofe branding him with an iron that has her high school crest on it. And now I can’t stop laughing, as abusive as that would be.

Her knees were shaking slightly, and she thought she might have fallen were it not for his sure grip on her arms. “If you would like,” she said, voice trembling slightly. She bit her lip. “I am sure that if you feel that your offer properly pays the debt, then it is. Though I wonder what use a prince has for the acquaintance of a maid that spends all her time with horses.”

Or you could try…not making her feel like your slave. That’s also a thing you can do maybe.

Now his lips were pressed close together; her comment had obviously displeased him in some way. But he did not address it. “Very well,” he said. “Then I shall take your leave now. Farewell, mistress. I will return again in two weeks.”

That sounds like the end of a chapter and, luckily for me, it is. Thank you for dragging your feet alongside me through another installment of Brego’s Mistress. Until then, I’ve been Angie, and this is that person signing off.

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11 Comments on “1748: Brego’s Mistress – Chapter Three, Part Two”

  1. AdmiralSakai says:

    I appreciate the Over explanation of everything, but I really didn’t ask and I frankly don’t care either. But to each their own. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve disagreed on a fanfiction.

    Léofe finished with the hay, and then drew water from the well to fill the outside trough, as well as the troughs in each of the stalls.

    Hey, you got the word right!

    But, wait. How come you didn’t just say trough earlier? You know, in the exact same chapter?

    She would have to ration out the oats for the evening meal – their stores were running low.

    Maybe it’s because you’re being too protective of your horses. I can think of no other reason.

    Perhaps before their own supper she could clean the house a bit, if the prince showed a desire to stay for the evening meal as well.

    This is some of the quickest character development I’ve ever read about, only beat out by…The Girl, really.

    She washed her hands with the last of her hauled water, throwing it outside on the yellow grass, and then walked back to the house, swinging the bucket at her side.

    And this is important to the story because…why?

    Love of a Spartan had kind of this same problem. “Show, don’t tell” is a good thing for authors to be aware of, but it’s very possible to take it to its illogical conclusion and waste paragraph upon paragraph describing the minutiae of characters’ daily routines and the logistics of getting from one place to another when such things have absolutely zero effect on the story.

    I think we need a term for this. I nominate “writing in assembly”, after the software engineering concept of low-level assembly languages where so much time is spent describing how to move individual bits from one place to another that it becomes impossible to tell what the end result of the program is supposed to be.

  2. AdmiralSakai says:

    She could not claim to know much about the nature of love between men and women,

    But, sadly, that didn’t stop her from writing Brego’s Mistress.

    Also, snark aside, how old is this… person… supposed to be, exactly? She’s old enough to be attracted to males and to basically run the horse farm, but has no idea what romance is and makes odd, elementary-school-style plots to delay the sale of her favorite horse.

  3. AdmiralSakai says:

    His odd way of speaking must have come from tutors and academics,

    I resent that.

  4. “No! Léofe wanted to scream. She did not want friendship from him! She wanted to jump into his arms and kiss his lusciously full lips to brand him as hers alone.”

    She does? I couldn’t tell. I honestly can’t get a read on what Leofe’s intentions and feelings for the prince are. They’re too lost in purple prose and unimportant descriptions of equine care.

  5. AdmiralSakai says:

    He had very nice eyes; not only a beautifully brown color, but kind as well. She blushed, feeling shameful of her trembling in his gaze, but rather shameless as she ate more of the fruit.

    “I must go,” she said, and stood. “I need to exercise the horses.”

    So that’s what the kids are calling it these days!

  6. AdmiralSakai says:

    I only dread the day that you take Brego away. I do not exaggerate when I say that he is my best friend.

    That’s just sad.

  7. AdmiralSakai says:

    “But please allow me to make reparation. If I have taken from you your best friend, might I fill that void with my own friendship?”

    Hmm…

    “But please allow me to make reparation. If I have taken from you your best friend, might I fill that void with my giant dick?”

    Fixed it for you.

  8. Swenia says:

    “You are welcome to come at anytime.”

    Well, that’s certainly the most polite way I’ve seen that phrased. Generally you expect a lot more screaming and calls to the divine before an insistent proclamation of intent. I’m not sure how I feel about this more genteel approach.


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